A familiar face to everyone at ‘The Scholars’ is the ever popular ‘Sir’ Les Eason. Les can been seen at nearly every home and away game, always willing to offer help and advise before the match and usually tucking into the cheese and biscuits after the match with a group of regulars to the club.
Born on September 22, 1944 Les can look back on some 33 years of attachment to the football club. Then known as Mount Grace. “Manager Ronnie Howells asked me to do him a favour in 1974 and play, it extended my playing career by 3 to 4 years and I have been there ever since”
Les was born in Edmonton just before the end of the Second World War and grew up supporting Tottenham Hotspur. “My dad first took me to see Spurs in about 1957 but watching the double winning side of 1960/1 from the Paxton Road terrace as a teenager was special and things got better when the club signed Jimmy Greaves from AC Milan. The best ever, Jimmy was my hero”.
As a player Les boasts a long distinguished career which started in 1962 and finished in retirement in 2010 at the distinguished age of 66.
Les with his 5 ½ boots started at Edmonton FC in 1962-63 were he first began to make his mark as a natural goalscorer in a position what was then called inside forward
He moved to Finchley FC 1963-65 where he gained an impressive 7 England Amateur International Caps
Joining Barnet FC for two spells in 1965-74/77-79. He made a total of 648 appearances which is the club record. He also scored 350 goals in that time making him one of the most prolific scorers in non-league history.
He then went on to play for Enfield FC 1974-77, Bishop's Stortford, Cheshunt, St. Albans 1979-84 before joining Potters Bar Town (Mount Grace) 1984-89.
During the 86/87 season, he took over as Player/Manager of the first team with Dennis Bond as his assistant. Les resigned as manager in 1989, having made over 130 appearances and scoring 21 goals. “It was a very enjoyable and sociable side. I still spend a lot of time at Potters Bar. My highlight was scoring a very satisfying goal against Wingate Finchley and on my way back the ref said "Brilliant"
Veterans football followed before retirement in 2010 a friend commented
"Les's retirement could be compared to racehorse RED RUM, he kept making come backs for anyone who asked him"
In those 33 years associated with Potters Bar Les has seen a transformation of the club both on and off the field. Last years highest ever League finish, and now the completion of the brand new extension to bring the changing facilities and clubhouse ‘right up to date’.
Looking back on last season Les feels that things looked to have taken a turn for the worse when goalkeeper Ben Goode sustained a serious injury away at Marlow ‘He was our outstanding players at that time’
But the highlight of the season came soon afterwards, ‘That had to be the FA Cup run and in particular the penalty shoot out at Bath City away’ which resulted in us progressing to the Fourth Qualifying round when we were unfortunate to lose to a penalty at Chesham United FC
So hopes for this season after last seasons success is simple “The Play Offs at least, let’s hope we get no injuries and a full squad for every game”
“I’m looking forward to 4 local derbies this year – last year we had none and in particular I’m looking forward to visiting Cheshunt because they have done a lot of work over the past couple of years, and also when I was 35 I played for them for a year and still have friends over there”
“I consider that every team in the league is our biggest rival this year and all should be treated with the same respect”
“My favorite Scholars player so far to date has to be Tom Pett, now at Stevenage, he is a lovely player to watch, but this season I’m looking forward to seeing the progress of newcomer Billy Lobjoit, he has talent to create and score goals, but must get into the box more”
As someone who has enjoyed the Club for so long he has one piece of advice for anyone visiting the club in the future “Get there early, enjoy a drink in the luxurious clubhouse and try one of our World Class Burgers cooked by Tanya”
“Here's to many more years and many more stories”
Les Eason (2017)
Updated 16:18 - 20 Sep 2017 by Steve Ringrose